Belknap was President Grant’s fourth Secretary of War. He was accused of committing improprieties in administering government contracts. During the pendency of the House investigation, Belknap resigned his office on March 2, 1876. However, the Committee on the Judiciary proceeded to draft articles of impeachment, which were approved by the full House in April 1876. Belknap was acquitted by the Senate in August 1876.